The Salvation Army survey of 629 people showed that on average, 77 per cent of people reported having between zero and five drinks a week, with 23 per cent drinking more than six.
The results are an improvement on 2002, when Salvation Army research showed 70 per cent of people drank fewer than six drinks a week and 31 per cent drank more than six.
Brad Halse of Salvation Army said the survey showed that generally Australians were drinking at responsible levels.
"I think we wouldn't shy away from that, yes, that the majority of people are drinking responsibly," news.com.au quoted Halse as saying.
"There's still a very significant group of people however who are not and the impact for them is high and the impact for the broader community is high," he added.
Halse said other promising indicators included that just over one in three people said the most alcohol they had drank in one session in the month prior was between one and three drinks.
The survey, which interviewed people in August aged 14 and over nationwide, also showed that in the week prior, 80 per cent had had at least two alcohol-free days.
Kathryn Wright of Salvation Army said extreme alcohol use began with moderate drinking and challenged people to consciously decide whether they needed to drink.
The survey showed 73 per cent of people sometimes or often drank to celebrate, 67 per cent to be sociable, 57 per cent to go with a meal, 55 per cent to relax or wind down, 22 per cent out of habit, 14 per cent to get drunk and eight per cent to stop feeling down or depressed.
"We applaud those people who drink responsibly, who teach their children to drink responsibly, who minimise it, but there's still such a high cost for the minority, but a significant minority, who are not on top of it," added Halse.